WW2 75th Anniversary Poll–-#9--APRIL 1940



  • The Norwegian Campaign was a military campaign that was fought in Norway during the Second World War between the Allies and Germany, after the latter’s invasion of the country. In April 1940, the United Kingdom and France came to Norway’s aid with an expeditionary force. Despite moderate success in the northern parts of Norway, Germany’s invasion of France in May 1940 eventually compelled the Allies to withdraw and the Norwegian government to seek exile in London. The campaign subsequently ended with the occupation of Norway by Germany, and the continued fighting of exiled Norwegian forces from abroad. The conflict occurred between 9 April and 10 June 1940, the 62 days of fighting making Norway the nation that withstood a German invasion for the second longest period of time, after the Soviet Union.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Campaign

    Even though the Allies were having decent success against Germany during the Norway Campaign, do you guys think that they should have continued to resist the Germans in Norway anyway during Hitler’s invasion of France and the Low Countries?


  • 2017 '16 '15

    Kinda two different questions there RJL. Pretty sure they continued resisting, albeit not at as high a level as possible.  The blokes were getting ready to invade norway themselves, the krauts beat them to it.
    Once the allies started getting their ass kicked in France, I would think any Norway thinking was out the window.

    They did do some stuff throughout the war, but it wasn’t a main theatre for them. I voted yes, but the blokes had a lot on their plate and I don’t blame them for focusing elsewhere.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Voted no after some hesitation.  It’s hard to see how the UK could have resisted G in Norway following the fall of France.

    Once the US had entered the war a Norwegian campaign might have served a similar purpose as the Italian one - Churchill always liked such schemes - but the US would have no doubt seen it as another distraction from a northern European assault.

    Of course the UK’s limited power lead it to prefer “contained” engagements, while the US was looking to deploy overwhelming force.

    Cheers
    PP


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I agree with Private Panic. Britain could not afford to throw away its few military assets helping Norway. The Med and the Far East were its main worry. It did a  good job, considering its paucity in manpower and material.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I concur with the previous posters that an all-out defense of Norway by the British would have been of little or no strategic value, plus a waste of scarce resources at a time when the much more critical Battle of France was underway.  As Private Panic indicated, the Norway campaign was largely Churchill’s idea, and Churchill was notorious throughout his career as an “adventurer” with a propensity for ill-thought-out schemes to hit the enemy in peripheral theatres (Gallipoli and the Baltic in WWI; Norway, Greece and Italy in WWII) rather than head-on where a decisive result could be achieved.

    Moreover, I’m not sure the Allies had “decent success” in Norway.  The biggest mistake made by the British in Norway was to think they could pull off a major amphibious invasion without air superiority.  Expressed differently, they didn’t appreciate that in 1940 sea power without airpower could no longer win battles.  Norway should have driven that lesson home, but Churchill made the same mistake in December 1941when the battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse – which had bee sent to Singapore at his instigation – were sunk on the high seas by Japanese aircraft.



  • Yes of course the Allies should have tried harder to protect Norway, that is a no brainer. Most of the German steel come from the iron ores in northern Sweden, and if the Allies could cut off this iron supply line in 1940, it just might have been decisive for the whole war effort. No steel, no tank divisions. As simple as that. With the Swedish mines destroyed, even Stalin might have made a second thought and ditched the non-aggression pact with Hitler. That would have put a stop to the world war in 1940.

    Marc is only partly right in his statement that the iron ores in France made the Swedish steel redundant. First, nobody could know that Germany would capture the French mines in less than 6 weeks. And even if Germany had both the French and Swedish mines, they would prefer the high grade quality steel from Sweden since it took less workers to use it. So even after the Huns had overrun France, the Allies should have made an effort to occupy northern Norway long enough to destroy the Swedish mines.

    Another fact that is less common knowledge, but still important, is that Hitler was afraid to start the attack on France before Norway was properly secured. It was only after southern Norway and the key city Trondheim were secured, and the rest of the campaign a sure thing, that Hitler finally let his generals attack France. Now if the Allies had put some more effort into taking Norway, perhaps the attack on France would not happened in 1940, maybe never since the Royal navy could tranny more men into Norway than the few German trannies. But this is pure speculations.



  • In his history of the war Churchill expresses regret that operation Jupiter, the liberation of Norway, never was carried out.  The Brits would never have invaded Sweden.


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